Civil Law

March 19, 2015 | Category: Civil

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 101 on religious freedom restoration. Co-sponsor Rep. McMillin offered an amendment clarifying that the bill applies only to governmental action and does not authorize a private cause of action. The amendment passed 9-3. Sponsor Rep. Wesco explained that the bill restores the strict scrutiny standard of review for governmental intrusions on an individual’s exercise of religion. A governmental entity may burden a person’s exercise of religion if the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest, and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. The bill provides a procedure for remedying a violation of this law. Extensive testimony was heard in support of and in opposition to the bill. The amended bill passed 9-4.

The Senate Civil Law Committee heard HB 1413, sponsored by Sen. Ford, on aircraft financial responsibility and liability. This bill increases the amount of financial responsibility required for the ownership, maintenance, or use of an aircraft to $100,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person, $200,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and $100,000 for damage to property in any one accident. It also provides that the owner of an aircraft who is not the pilot is not vicariously liable for damages unless:

(1)  the owner engages in negligent, reckless, knowing, intentional, or unlawful conduct that is the proximate cause of the damages;

(2)  an agency relationship exists between the owner and the person who proximately caused the damages; or

(3)  the owner’s liability is based on the doctrine of respondeat superior.

This bill additionally specifies that certain provisions relating to the ownership of an aircraft are not intended to modify Indiana law on bailments or bailor liability. The bill was held for amendment.